Today I have three Upper Body workouts for you!
The other day, I received a message, saying how much my leg workouts helped to activate the right muscle while training. Thus, I decided to share more workouts in the future. As I haven’t posted any Upper Body specific workouts yet, I thought it would be useful to post these first.
You can find all new workouts in the “Workouts” section in the menu as well.
Let me know if you like these workouts and I will share my workouts more often!
1. Build a Beautiful Back
This workout focuses heavily on the upper back muscles. Read more on muscle activation and proper form of these exercises in my article.
Make sure to use light weights the first time you do this workout. Especially the rhomboid muscles are small and get neglected and stretched in our everyday activities. Sitting at your desk and leaning over your desk will put them in a stretched position and weaken your back. Prevent back injuries by strengthening those muscles to pull your shoulder blades down and back and improve your posture.
2 sets of:
- Bodyweight Reverse Fly -25x
- Bird Dog -10x on each side
- Scarecrows – 25x
The Strength Workout
Complete 3-4 sets of each exercise:
- Lats Pulldown (Machine or Bands) – 15x -12x -10x (start light and use heavier weight/bands for the next sets)
- Bent over Rows – Under-grip 10x super set One arm Rows – 15x -12x- 10x
- Back Bows – 15x super set with Pull overs -10x
- Seated Band Rows -15x super set with Bent over Rear Raises – 10x with 10 Pulses
⇒ Burnout: Reverse Fly weighted – 15x, then 15 Pulses
You can do some low-moderate intensity cardio after this strength training if you have more time. This will further increase your energy expenditure and help burn fat while building muscle.
2. Shapely Shoulders
This workout uses some of the most effective shoulder exercises, activating all three parts of the deltoid muscle. Read more about muscle activation of the shoulders in this article. I explain each exercise thoroughly and give tips for proper form.
Don’t start with heavy weights, as the shoulder muscles are small and can’t take too much force right away. Leave your ego behind and reevaluate your goals. Do you want to build strength and prevent injuries, or is it just about the looks? These exercises will surely help you to build a nice physique, you can see that as a bonus. Make sure you always focus on the long-term goals.
- Scarecrows -15x
- External Rotation with Bands -15x
- Bodyweight Reverse Fly -15x
Complete this warm up routine 1-2x. If your shoulders are burning, you are doing it right.
- Face Pull – 15x super set with Lateral Raises -15x
- Shoulder Press -8x super set with Lying/ Bent over Reverse Fly -10x
- One arm Shoulder Press – 10x super set with Back Bows -15x
- Pike Push up -10x super set with Standing Reverse Fly with Bands -15x
Complete 3-4 sets of these strength exercises.
Use as much weight as you can with proper form and muscle activation.
Make sure to rest enough after each super set.
⇒ We are hitting one muscle group throughout this workout, thus you will fatigue much more quickly than in a workout involving back or chest exercises as well.
⇒ I recommend to follow this routine with 15-20 Minutes of low to moderate intensity cardio. If you want to build size or don’t have much time, cut out the Cardio. However, if you would like to build muscle and burn fat and have some spare time, you should add on some Cardio. You can go walking, running, do bodyweight exercises (check out fitnessblender).
⇒ Make sure to Cool Down and stretch after this workout.
⇒ Don’t work your shoulders the next day. In fact, it is sufficient to hit the Upper Body 2-3x per week. Make sure to work your other Upper Body muscles (chest, back), as well as legs and core too.
3. Upper Body and Glutes Workout
This workout is special, as it contains glute work as well.
In fact, I recommend to do a Glute Activation routine before every workout. Especially with heavy exercises like shoulder press or bent over rows, you need to contract your core and glutes to prevent back injuries. Thus, I always do a 15 min Glutes warm up before any exercise routine.
If you would like more of a challenge, include Glute exercises as active rest. This way, you will elevate your heart rate, which will increase the overall calorie burn and your fitness level. And your glutes shape will improve as well. If you want to improve a muscle, you have to work it as frequent as possible but with the right intensity. Lifting heavy every day will actually weaken you even more and lead to break-down of muscle tissue. However, you can always implement light-weight exercises that isolate the muscle and don’t interfere with recovery.
Let me know if you like this style of training as well!
Glute Activation Routine (10-11min)
1 Round of:
- Glute Bridge hold 1min
- Single-legged Glute Bridge (or bilateral if that is too advanced)- As many repetitions as possible in 1 min
- Side Clam – 1min
- Donkey Kicks – 1min
- Straight leg Donkey Kicks – 1min
- Bodyweight Hip Thrusts (bilateral or single-legged) – 1min
Upper Body warm up:
1 Round of:
- Reverse Fly Bodyweight or light weight – 25x
- Scarecrows – 25x
- Kneeling Push ups – 20x
The Strength Workout
Upper Body Circuit 1: 3 rounds of
- Push ups – As many repetitions as you can
- Bent over Rows – 10x
Glute Circuit 1: 2 rounds of
- Reverse Hyper (with ankle weights if you can) – 20x
- Squat to Side Leg Lift (with bands around knees if you are advanced) – 20x (10 each side)
Upper Body Circuit 2: 3 Rounds of
- Shoulder Press – 10x
- Lats Pulldown with Bands – 15x
- Seated Row – 15x
Glute Circuit 2: 2 Rounds of
- Donkey Kicks (with ankle weights if you can) – 10-15x
- Straight Leg Donkey Kicks – 15x
- Fire Hydrants – 15x (with ankle weights and/or bands around knees)- 15x
Upper Body Circuit 3: 3 Rounds of
- Chest Fly – 10-15x
- Renegade Row (Plank Position Row)- 8x each side
- Dumbbell Rear Raises – 15x
Glute Circuit 3: 2 Rounds of
- Hip Thrusts (weighted if you can, single-legged if advanced)- 15x-20x
- Squat to Curtsy Lunge – 15x each side
- Feet elevated Glute Bridges (contract your core!, normal Glute Bridge if you are a beginner)- 15-20x
1 Round of as many repetitions as you can:
- Reverse Fly
- Pike Push up
⇒ After each Round, rest for 30-45 seconds, then repeat until the circuit is complete
⇒ After you have completed the third round of the first upper body circuit, move directly into the Glute Circuit. Again, rest 30-45 seconds after the first round of the glute circuit and then repeat. After you have completed circuit 1 for both upper body and glutes, rest for 1 minute and move on to Circuits 2.
⇒ This is a high volume workout for the upper body, as well as for the glutes. You can adjust the workout to your own needs. If you are short on time, complete fewer rounds or split the workout into two parts on two separate days.
⇒ There is no need to add cardio to this workout. Try it out and you will find that you breathe very hard and sweat just as much as in a cardio routine.
⇒ Make sure to Cool down and stretch your upper body and glutes. Drink a lot of water and eat a meal soon after you are finished.
I hope you try these workouts out! Let me know if you liked them. I did the last one two days ago and my upper body is still sore!
Leave me a comment below and share on social media, so others can try these workouts too 🙂
Wish you a happy Friday!